There are few fancy-pants French cooking terms I care to retain, but paillard is definitely one of them. Paillard refers to a piece of meat that’s been pounded thinly and then grilled. It’s one of the more approachable and less complex food preparations everyone should have in their repertoire. You can use this same technique to prepare chicken thighs as in my chicken paillard with arugula salad, chicken breasts or essentially any protein you’d prefer broken down a bit.
One of the benefits to the paillard approach is the numerous amount of options you have once you’ve got a thinly pounded piece of protein in front of you. My sons love to stuff and roll the meat with their favorite fillings, which usually involve a take on pesto. I prefer to simply drizzle a hot grill pan with olive oil and let my chicken sear until the skin is crisp. Another perk is that pounding usually tenderizes the meat enough so that you don’t even need a marinade. In my chicken paillard with arugula salad, I chose to marinade nonetheless as I feel you can never add too much flavor to a summertime chicken dish. Get the recipe!